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quick takes, random thoughts

first in a series of short takes on various subjects. perfect for when i don’t have the energy or inclination to come up with a big statement.

such as today.

»   house republicans are set today to raise the federal debt limit by $800 billion dollars. the national debt has increased 37% since george w. bush took office. if kirk and i ran our household finances like the government ran their budgets, we’d be irretrievably in debt.

unfortunately for us, we do run our household that way. but at least now i know we’re being patriotic when we do so, thanks to the fine example of our elected government officials. it’s hypocritical of me, i suppose, to complain too much about government spending when i look at my credit card balances.

but i will complain anyway. my elected officials should be made of sterner stuff than am i. that’s why they are elected officials.

»   harry reid is now the leader of the reduced-in-numbers-democratic-senate pack. i’d feel more comfortable with a firebrand in charge, and he seems to be a conciliator. pick your fights, they say over and over. ugh. i’ve said before in these blogs that i want nothing accomplished, and i mean it. they are already set to roll over on tort reform using this rationale.

it’s going to be a long four years.

»   who will be chosen to lead the democratic party? for me, howard dean is out…too much of a lightning rod. there’s enough of a pragmatist left in me to say that. but we need someone who is howard-dean-esque. or howard-dean-light. i’m done with the clintonian new democrats wing of the party. if they are in power, they will march to the middle, become even more “we’re just like republicans, only not quite”, and leave gays and gay issues in the dust.

know this, democratic party. you are in my doghouse, and your moves over the next few months, or perhaps even weeks, will determine whether or not this lifelong straight-ticket-voting democrat bolts the party.

»   i taught high school for fifteen years, and there’s a very short shortlist of students with whom i’ve stayed in even infrequent touch. it’s just that i’m not a backwards-looking kind of guy, so the reminiscence thing is something i only take in small doses. and in fact, that’s true of everyone from my past, not just former students. there’s some wrong there, and probably some pathology worth analyzing, but oh well.

it’s not that i don’t like to hear from former students, because in all cases when i hear from them, i like it enormously. in small doses. after all, i did put my email address on classmates.com for any fool to pay $15 to get, so i’m not trying to avoid people. and of course i do have a website, as you may know.

last night, though, i talked on the phone to one of my former students at the top of the shortlist. shout out to you–you know who you are.

you i can take in bigger doses.